CHICAGO LAWN — Derrick Turnage said he believes his 11-year-old brother didn't feel the fatal, hurried impact when a speeding carjacker rammed into the family's vehicle Saturday afternoon.
Turnage, 20, was in the front passenger seat on the way to get Christmas haircuts with his father and younger brother, Donovan, as they do every year, when their vehicle was struck by a man in a stolen van at 55th and Halsted streets.
The 1998 Dodge Caravan van had been stolen Friday morning from the 800 block of West Irving Park Road in Buena Park, police said. A chase started Saturday morning when the van was spotted near where it later crashed about 12:30 p.m., killing Donovan, according to Officer Daniel O'Brien, a Chicago Police Department spokesman.
The van slammed into the left side of the family's Chevrolet Suburban after officers tried to curb it during the chase. That's when Donovan was ejected from the back seat as the van hit near the gas tank, his brother said.
"It hit our car so hard," Derrick Turnage said from the family's home in Chicago Lawn. "Like it was going 100 miles an hour."
Turnage said he looked down for a moment in the front seat before seeing the green van speeding their way as his father, who was driving, prepared to cross the intersection. The family's SUV spun five times before coming to rest against a bus stop, he said.
According to Turnage and police, the robber then abandoned the stolen van before hopping in another vehicle.
Turnage said he knew his younger brother was dead immediately upon seeing Donovan lying next to the nearby sidewalk.
"He didn't suffer," he said of his younger brother, a fifth-grader at Morrill Math & Science School.
"He was a joyful, playful, goofy kid," Turnage said. "He was a gamehead. ... He said he wanted to make his own video games, be a graphic designer. He was into anything to do with technology. Nobody knew it unless you knew him."
Both Turnage and his father escaped the crash with relatively minor injuries, but Turnage said his father is taking the loss of his son the hardest, blaming himself. The elder Turnage was taken to University of Chicago Hospitals after the fatal wreck.
Police later identified the other driver as Rockie Douglas, 34, who is suspected in three carjackings this weekend, as well as a number of robberies and other crimes in Chicago and Wisconsin, police said.
"[The carjacker] took off and is still on the loose," Turnage said. "He needs to be caught."
Douglas, who displayed a blue-steel handgun in one of the carjackings, was last seen driving westbound on Interstate-88.
Police ask anyone with information to call 911, or Area Central detectives at 312-747-8380, or the Illinois State Police at 630-241-6800.